If you think you're having a heart attack, a stroke, or any other major catastrophic health problem, then heading to the emergency room is the best choice. But for non-life-threatening problems, like cuts that need stitches or possible concussions, you have another option. You can either go to the ER, or you can go to urgent care. Here are a few benefits of choosing an urgent care center.
Shorter Wait Time
Since emergency rooms have to deal with life-threatening issues and non-life-threatening issues — along with people brought in by ambulance — they tend to be quite busy. Also, they use a system called triage to determine the order in which they see patients. Understandably, those with more serious problems get seen first, which means that you'll often wait quite a while if you come in with a less serious issue. At an urgent care center, most patients have about the same level of need, which means wait times tend to be shorter. You might have to wait for 30 or 60 minutes if the urgent care is busy, but it's rare to wait longer than that.
More Personalized Care
Emergency room staff are often overworked and busy. As such, they might have to rush when taking care of you. They might have to leave your side to address someone who is in critical condition. This is understandable. However, it is something you can avoid by going to an urgent care center. Here, the staff can often spend more time with you directly since they don't have critical patients coming in and 100 other responsibilities to juggle.
Visiting the emergency room is expensive. Even those with decent health insurance sometimes get hit with a large copay. Urgent care facilities are specifically intended to offer more affordable care. Many health insurance policies will cover most of the cost of care. Even if you end up having to pay out of pocket, the cost should be affordable. (Urgent care centers often have lower fees for patients who don't have health insurance.) Choose urgent care, and your cost should almost always be in the hundreds, if not lower. It's not uncommon to leave the emergency room with thousands of dollars owed.
Urgent care centers are a real asset to the community. They offer prompt, affordable, personalized care for anyone who has an urgent need but not a life-threatening condition. Contact a local urgent care, such as Western WI Health, to learn more.